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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Date communication.

Once upon a time I had this friend. . . .

No really.
Once upon a time I had this friend who was poly. (Surprise huh?). She had a male SO who would call her every night right before he went to bed. One day he starts dating someone else and before long the nightly goodnight phone calls became intermittent.
My friend was extremely upset by this, which I actually understood. Being a creature of habit and predictability myself I could understand how it would be upsetting if a routine with one of my loves was broken. Particularly when it was unintentional. But in this case I also understood why the routine was broken and know it was somewhat inevitable. And I stated as much to my friend.

To my surprise her response was, "We had that routine before SHE came along! It isn't fair SHE is changing it! HER relationship with Rickie (name changed) shouldn't have any effect on MY relationship with him!"

To which I replied, "But, he is spending time with her. Maybe they are in bed together. You expect him to interrupt that and call you to say goodnight?" Her response involved more than a few expletives and didn't really add much to what was already mentioned so I'll not try to paraphrase it again here.

It did create an interesting quandary in my mind. As mentioned, I could somewhat understand her feelings. At the same time I have a hard time imagining my SO laying in bed with her OSO and saying "Hold on, I have to make my goodnight call." I wouldn't dream of expecting such a thing.

But it made me think, why not? We are poly, open, and my SO's OSO will know about me. I would know they were spending time together and were possibly in bed or spending the night together. So is there any reason they couldn't pick up the phone and wish me goodnight? Not really.

In trying to understand the problem I tried to put myself on the other side of the equation. Were I spending time with my OSO would I interrupt that time to call my SO and say goodnight? I didn't really come up with a solid answer. I think it would depend on the situation. If my OSO and I weren't really doing anything, then I would make the call. But if we were watching a movie together, snuggling, talking, or "other things" my phone would remain untouched. And if my OSO told me they had a problem with me interrupting our time together so I could call my SO I definitely wouldn't be picking up the phone. Of course, I wouldn't just stop calling, I would have a conversation with my SO and explain why I wouldn't be calling.

I haven't personally had this problem before and although the paragraph above sounds good I'm not sure how I would proceed if my SO insisted on a phone call every night despite my OSO's feelings.

So tell me what you think!

-What would you do if your SO insisted on a phone call and your OSO wasn't happy about it?

-What are your rules (soft or hard) about communication while your SO is on a date? Out with friends? Other?

-Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do about it?

4 comments:

  1. Well, in my particular arrangement I don't think there would be any problems with me making a call to my wife while out with my girl. In fact, my girl would probably get on the phone and they'd chat for a few. After all, they are intimately involved with each other as well.

    As far as rules concerning communication while out, there are none per se. It's just common courtesy and a sign of caring that we call or text each other while apart - regardless of reason or time. Even if it's just one time to say, "Hey babe. Everything is cool. I'm having a great time. I was thinking of you. I love you and I'll see you soon." Or something to that effect, you know?

    I would hope I never get into a situation where calling my wife would be a problem. That would most likely cause some tension at home.

    But I can understand both points of view here. I guess maybe I lucked out in this aspect of Poly?

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  2. Marco,
    Thanks for the comment :)

    I guess I lucked out as well since I've never really encountered the problem either.

    PP

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  3. With my current partner, we text regularly while on a date with another. It is not a constant contact of texting. We text to let each other know that we are ok, and what time we might be returning home. I will tell my date that there will be a time during our date when I will text my SO.

    In 2003, I was on a date, but needed to call my SO to give a logistical coordinate. At the beginning of the date, I explained that I needed to make a call. He was cool with it. But when my SO started to ask for information beyond the logistical answer, my date became furious. He was angry and turned the remainder of the evening into an event to itemize my rudeness. And for him to vent his anger about past women friends.

    I eventually left my SO, but remained dating partners with the person who liked to itemize my rudeness. Whenever he knew that I was on a date with another person, he would call me to work out some problem from our relationship. This went on for a few years. We never became SO partners.

    I like my current arrangement where we have an agreement to have open contact with the other while on dates. At least, we have some level of Poly maturity in this area.

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  4. Kameshwari,
    Thanks for the comment!

    It sounds like you have experienced some of these communication problems in the past. Any advice for folks on how to avoid or overcome them?

    PP

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